Grid Modernization Advisory Group

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In 2020, the New Mexico Legislature passed HB 233 (Energy Grid Modernization Roadmap), a bill which charged EMNRD with developing a grid modernization plan which will be a guide for electric service providers, regulators, policymakers, and consumers as New Mexico transitions to 100-percent zero-carbon electricity resources by mid-century in accordance with the Energy Transition Act.

The transition to zero-carbon resources presents several challenges to the reliability of our energy supply and to the stability of our current grid infrastructure. At the same time as we are asking our utilities and rural electric cooperatives to achieve zero-carbon electricity, we have established policies that incentivize the development of distributed energy resources (DERs) – including rooftop solar, storage, microgrids, and demand response mechanisms – which present challenges to distribution infrastructure, energy planning, utility business models, and customer affordability, even as they speed decarbonization.

As a state, we must accomplish the energy transition in a way that maintains affordable electricity prices for all New Mexicans, a standard level of quality of service, and which does not cause major disruptions to the reliability of electrical power. Simultaneously, we must ensure that our electric grid possesses resiliency in the face of wildfires, higher average temperatures, and cybersecurity threats, amongst other hazards. The transition to renewable generation forces us to focus on the infrastructure that collects, transports, distributes, monitors, balances, and controls electric flow. We cannot meet our ambitious target without in some way “modernizing” our electric grid.

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The Grid Modernization Advisory Group (GMAG) is charged with producing a series of technical and policy whitepapers which will form the body of knowledge necessary for creating a plan for modernizing New Mexico’s electric grid.

The Grid Modernization Advisory Group process will produce the following outputs:

  • A series of technical and policy whitepapers which can be used to create a wide-ranging, flexible, technology-neutral roadmap for grid modernization in New Mexico. These documents will be public documents.
  • Maintenance and strengthening of the broad coalition of stakeholders which was instrumental in passing HB 233; continued fostering of cooperative efforts to modernize our grid.

These outputs will enable the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) to create a robust grid modernization plan for New Mexico.

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              Meetings of the Grid Modernization Advisory Group are by invitation of EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst. The GMAG will meet as an entire group seven times between September and November, 2020, and may meet in smaller sub-groups additionally. All final whitepapers developed by the GMAG will be public after the conclusion of the process.

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              Interested members of the public, New Mexico legislators, members of sovereign Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos, and/or technical experts who would like to communicate points of concern, clarification, and direction to the GMAG are welcome to contact Dr. AnnaLinden Weller, EMNRD Policy Advisor (annalinden.weller@state.nm.us) or EMNRD Deputy Secretary and Tribal Liaison, Todd Leahy (todd.leahy@state.nm.us), who will convey any such information to the GMAG to be addressed.

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